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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit posts one Indiana decision today

In Ben-Yisrayl v. Buss (ND Ind., Judge Sharp), a 26-page opinion, Judge Bauer writes:

Obadyah Ben-Yisrayl, formerly known as Christopher Peterson, was convicted of two counts of murder by an Indiana jury. After extensive proceedings through the Indiana and federal courts, he was ultimately sentenced to two consecutive sixty-year terms of imprisonment. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming various constitutional violations. The district court denied the petition in part and granted the petition in part. We reverse the district court’s grant of the petition and affirm the denial. * * *

We are bound by a state court’s interpretations of state law. See, e.g., Wainwright v. Goode, 464 U.S. 78, 84, 104 S.Ct. 378, 78 L.Ed.2d 187 (1983). The Indiana Court of Appeals properly followed the dictates of the Indiana Code and the Indiana Supreme Court in upholding Ben- Yisrayl’s sentence; and in making this determination, the court did not run afoul of Supreme Court precedent. Habeas relief should not have been granted.

III. CONCLUSION

Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district court’s decision to deny habeas relief, and REVERSE the district court’s limited grant of habeas relief with respect to Ben- Yisrayl’s consecutive sentences.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 28, 2008 03:47 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions